06/19/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2019 08:23
Speech by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila at the forum 'Integrated border management in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council'
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Good afternoon to everyone! Welcome!
I hail today's event organized by Intact Media, I congratulate the hosts for this initiative and I thank them for having invited me here.
I also greet the participants in the forum 'Integrated border management in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council' - representatives of authorities, business sector, employers, associations in the field, and of course, the media.
I am honored to be with you and I am sure that the exchange of ideas that ensues, will lead you to useful conclusions which can become measures of the state in the steps of preventing and combating border illegalities.
The theme of this forum is important for citizens, communities, the Romanian society.
The rigorous and effective border control implies the safety of citizens, their goods, protection of resources and public money, safer and more solid investment.
Romania, as EU member state, is preoccupied with ensuring the free movement of persons, goods and services transiting the border legally but also with an effective control at external borders, adapted to the means in continual diversification of ill- intentioned people.
This is why we periodically review the measures of combating border trafficking, according to Romania's new realities or priorities, we made the most recent amendments at the Government level last year.
Although the threats remain essentially the same - terrorism, illegal migration, trafficking in human beings, drug trafficking, smuggling of excisable or counterfeit products - the means to put such threats into practice are constantly changing, increased ingenuity, especially in the context of the unprecedented explosion of information and communications technology. And then there is a need for a constant updating of the state security measures with the reality.
In our tenure at the helm of the Council of the European Union, 'A safer Europe ' is one of the four pillars among Romania's priorities. In this respect, we have taken some very important steps due to the intelligence, dedication and sustained activity of our specialists and persons in leading positions.
The Romanian Presidency of the EU Council managed to close negotiations in two dossiers of major importance for the consolidation of the EU internal security : the first refers to the interoperability of the IT systems in the field of borders, visas, police activity and judicial cooperation; and the second refers to the extension of the current Frontex (European Border and Coast Guard Agency) mandate.
We also obtained a partial general agreement on the reform of the Return Directive and we advanced discussions on agreeing some temporary arrangements to organize disembarkation of people rescued at sea following search-rescue operations.
Romania continued to support, including as President of the EU Council, the strengthening of EU action in cooperation and assistance for North African countries and Western Balkan countries, which will in particular lead to the control of illegal migration flows.
In addition, we completed the legislative negotiations on improving the security of identity cards and the cross-border access to the use of financial data by law enforcement authorities - as an important preventive measure in the context of counter-terrorism efforts.
Pursuing the security objectives over the next 5 years, partial overall approaches have been obtained regarding all internal affairs policy funding instruments, including the program on borders and visa.
Last but not least, we continued our efforts to significantly advance the negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. We believe that adopting this project is very important in supporting the fight against terrorism and we are confident that the two co-legislators will soon be able to reach a compromise on this dossier in the new European legislature.
It is obvious, I believe, that through our actions, we contributed to stepping up efforts to strengthen the internal security of the EU, given its strategic importance in the overall policy objectives of the Union for the coming years.
We have specialists at all levels of executive power who have worked alongside the governmental team and the Permanent Representation of Romania to Brussels. I take this opportunity to congratulate once again all those to whom we owe the success of our country in its first mandate to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
I would add that the internal security of the European Union means not only the safety of the individual and their assets, but also the elimination of economic gaps, the fair distribution of public revenues, social predictability. Or offenses at the external borders also affect these aspects of life, generating tax evasion, creating economic and social disparities.
I also congratulate the Border Police and the other institutions involved in securing Romania's external border, because, as we have already said, we technically fulfill the conditions for accession to Schengen as early as 2011, which the European Commission confirmed. But, as you know, the decision is a political one.
We are acting as a de facto member of the Schengen area and it would be normal and legitimate for Romanians to benefit from the rights deriving from this membership.
I congratulate you, the organizers and participants in today's event for your civic spirit and involvement in finding solutions to the issues of public interest.
Good luck to debates!